Melanie Eden and the Epic Chant: Pansori singing in South Korea

During my time in Australia, Mel was one of the most important people I met. Without entirely realising it, I was looking to meet people who I could learn something from. On St. Patrick’s day she hailed me down on King Street in Newtown, Sydney, and we joined forces to hunt for some Guinness. Later that evening we went to see a play in a completely different area, with completely different people. From then on, she was a constant over the next few months; constantly keeping in touch, inviting me to new places, but most importantly, constantly introducing me to new ideas and attitudes, whether she realised it or not. Her current project is an example of her constant curiosity, determination and talent. Below is her explanation of this project, and how you can support her. 

Alex Howlett

For many Koreans, Pansori is the vocalisation of ‘han’ – an inherent characteristic of Korean culture; a sorrow caused by heavy suffering, injustice or persecution, a dull lingering ache in the soul. While suffering is not a uniquely Korean experience, ‘han’ is an expression that has no direct translation.

I want to continue studying Pansori because I know it ignites the human spirit. It not only teaches me how to go to the root of my ‘han’ and sing, but it unifies and heals those listening.

Australia is a beautiful country, yet suicide is the number one killer of youth, and I feel it is really important that we offer expression for the deep hurt that is felt by so many people so that those feelings can be recognised, acknowledged and accepted for healing.

My desire to heal comes from a very personal place- when I was a child, I was abused. I have tried to commit suicide twice, and I became mentally unwell for many years; turning to drugs and alcohol. I feel thankful I found a way to express myself.

I use my art to stand up against the oppressing forces of today by expressing an alignment with nature. We do not need to be afraid of exposing our vulnerability, and I’ve been inspired to make music that raises awareness and gives voice to those who feel voiceless.

Once my training is completed, I will continue facilitating art projects with communities and advocating mental health through experiential education and arts therapy. I feel privileged to be connecting two cultures and want to continue playing an active role in preserving wisdoms and connecting people throughout my life.

I appreciate any support given and look forward to connecting. If anyone wants any questions answered in regards to the campaign, Pansori study, or my artistic practice feel free to get in touch by emailing.

Support Mel’s campaign by clicking —> HERE <—

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